Train Your Dog To be a Therapy Dog

The Chicago Dog Coach trains therapy dogs and provides education and training for therapy dog training programs.

The “NICE Dog Public Safety Test” is a test developed by Ami Moore, The Chicago Dog Coach for the testing of therapy dog teams. This test is suitable for dogs trained by non-profits, prisons, schools and other interested organizations.

A therapy dog is a dog trained to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, with people with learning difficulties and stressful situations such as disaster areas.

Therapy dogs come in all sizes and breeds. The most important characteristic of a therapy dog is its solid, friendly and forgiving temperament. A good therapy dog must be friendly, patient, confident, at ease in all situations, and gentle. Therapy dogs must enjoy human contact.

A therapy dog’s primary job is to allow strangers to make physical contact with it in a controlled environment. The therapy dog has to be fit as the dog might need to be lifted onto, or climb onto, an invalid’s lap or bed and sit or lie comfortably there.

Many Therapy dogs contribute to the visiting experience by performing small tricks for their audiences or by playing carefully structured games. Animal-Assisted Therapy (ATT) falls in the therapy dog category as does Equine Facilitated Activities/Equine Facilitated Therapy.  Therapy dogs are usually the personal pets of their handlers, and work with their handlers to provide services to others. There are some non-profits that are training Therapy Dogs for use of the organization.

Federal laws have no provisions for people to be accompanied by therapy animals in places of public accommodation that have “no pets” policies.

Therapy animals are not service animals.